Wheelhouse Weekly – January 14, 2014

January 14th 2014


– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 18 . . . Number 2 . . . Jan. 14, 2014


Did you miss a week? Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the archives section.


All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Jan. 20 for Martin Luther King’s Birthday. The Nobel Prize laureate and civil rights activist was assassinated in 1968 while on a trip to Memphis in support of a strike by sanitation workers.


Under the new MM&P Offshore Shipping Rules that entered into effect on Jan. 1, job call will be held at 1100 hours local time in all ports except for Honolulu, where it will be held at 1000 hours. The new Shipping Rules have been posted in all MM&P union halls. They can also be viewed in the Members’ Only section of


The Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC) said it has begun issuing medical certificates in accordance with the regulations that implement the amendments to the STCW Convention. It said it expects to issue 50,000 medical certificates within 90 days. The agency said that the expiration dates on the certificates will vary depending on when the mariner’s merchant mariner credential (MMC) expires. Beginning Jan. 24, the agency said it will start issuing medical certificates to each qualified mariner applying for an original, raise-in-grade or renewal MMC. Pilots will receive a medical certificate at their next annual medical review. A new medical certificate will be issued to pilots every two years. All the medical certificates will be issued free of charge.

The agency said the new document is intended to certify that mariners have: the physical capability to fulfill all the requirements of basic training as required by Section A-VI/1 of STCW; adequate hearing and speech to communicate and detect audible alarms; no medical condition that would prevent the effective performance of duties; no medical condition likely to be aggravated by service at sea; and no medical condition that requires medication with side effects that could interfere with the performance of duties.

To sail under the authority of their MMCs, mariners will be required to carry the certificate going forward. The agency asks that mariners sign the certificate in blue or black ink as soon as they receive it and keep it, without separating the pages, along with their MMC. If the certificate indicates that the mariner has a medical waiver, he or she must comply with the requirements of the accompanying waiver letter, which must be carried when sailing under the authority of the MMC. If a mariner’s medical certificate expires during a voyage, it will remain valid until the next U.S. port of call, provided that the period after expiration does not exceed 90 days.

Each medical certificate will carry three expiration dates: for mariners who sail under the authority of an STCW endorsement, the expiration date will be for up to two years past the date of examination unless the mariner is under the age of 18, in which case the maximum period of validity will be one year; for pilots, the expiration date will be a maximum period of two years; for national mariners, medical certificates will be issued for a maximum of five years.

The Coast Guard said it may grant a waiver if an applicant for a MMC does not possess the vision, hearing, or general physical condition necessary and extenuating circumstances warrant special consideration. The limitations/restrictions that result in the issuance of a medical waiver will be listed on the medical certificate. The mariner will receive a medical waiver via mail outlining the terms and conditions required to meet the standards. Some mariners may receive time-restricted medical certificates that expire in either one or two years depending on the condition and the need for periodic evaluation. For more information, go to


The omnibus budget resolution now pending in Congress includes the full $186 million for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) for fiscal year 2014. The money for MSP is included in the Consolidated Appropriations bill that will probably be voted on by the House on Wednesday. Both the House and the Senate have to act before the legislation can be sent to the President for his signature. The resolution also directs the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) to report to Congress on the impact that reductions in government-impelled cargo, both Food for Peace and Department of Defense, are having and will have on the viability of the U.S.-flag fleet. 


MM&P’s United Inland Group (UIG) has been recognized as the lawful representative of the McNeil Island marine employees’ bargaining unit. The employees who crew the McNeil Island Ferry had been represented by the United Inland Group for years but Teamsters Local 117 contested the UIG’s jurisdictional right to represent the group. The decision reconfirming MM&P’s jurisdictional right to represent the unit was issued Monday by the State of Washington Public Employment Relations Commission.

“This was an attempted raid by the Teamsters Union, with support from the legislators,” said MM&P United Inland Group Vice President Mike Murray. “I would like to recognize the excellent work performed by our attorney Rhonda Fenrich in ensuring that MM&P prevailed in this case.”


Members of MM&P’s United Inland Group have approved new contracts with Westar-Seattle and Whatcom County Ferry. All the UIG members employed at Westar-Seattle voted to accept a new four-year contract which calls for annual wage and benefit increases. The contract calls for the company to cover 100 percent of the cost of medical insurance in year one.

UIG members employed at Whatcom County Ferry have approved a one-year contract which also calls for annual wage and benefit increases. “I’d like to thank Captain Ernie Pearson, the UIG shop steward at Whatcom County Ferry, for his help at every step of the process,” said MM&P UIG Vice President Mike Murray.


Members of the MM&P United Inland Group-Pacific Maritime Region were in command when five Oregon- and Washington-based Crowley tugs were photographed for the company’s 2014 calendar. The calendar, which features dramatic photographs of landscapes and seascapes in the Pacific Northwest, is published by the Crowley Group as part of its public outreach campaign. The tugs VALOR and RESPONSE are shown escorting a tanker through North Puget Sound. Captain Andy Constant and the CHIEF are shown as they escort and assist another Crowley-managed tanker. AWARE and NANUQ are photographed as they pull a tanker away from the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company Marine Terminal in Valdez, Alaska. Two-hundred members of MM&P’s United Inland Group-Pacific Maritime Region are employed by Crowley.


Ernest Allen “Ernie” Cohen, a leading maritime labor attorney who served as MM&P counsel for many years, passed away on Jan. 8 at the age of 76. “I will miss Ernie personally,” said former MM&P International President Timothy Brown. “Organized labor has lost a great champion.”

A Brooklyn native, Ernie moved to Teaneck, N.J., to raise his family. There, he served as president of the Teaneck Political Assembly, a non-partisan organization that worked for good government. He ran as a Democratic candidate for State Assembly in New Jersey, and although he lost the election, he beat his opponent, the mayor of Teaneck, in the town of Teaneck.

A graduate of New York University Law School, he was an associate at Proskauer, Rose, Goetz and Mendelsohn before founding his own firm. He was counsel for the Radio Officers Union and, after his successful legal efforts in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Captain Tim Brown’s insurgent campaign for the presidency of MM&P, he became the union’s counsel for over a decade. He served as a delegate to the International Maritime Organization of the United Nations. While in New York, he taught legal practice at NYU Law School. He continued to practice law on behalf of maritime labor after moving to Tucson. There, he taught at the Rogers College of Law and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Arizona. Marsha, his wife of 56 years, three children and six grandchildren survive him.


The United Steelworkers (USW) have launched a letter-writing campaign that targets multinational Crown Holdings, which despite record profits is demanding massive wage cuts in contract negotiations with union members. The campaign focuses in part on Arnold Donald, a Crown Holdings director who is also the chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise line. “We believe that Arnold Donald is shooting himself in the foot by supporting the outrageous demands of Crown Holdings management, which are really aimed at breaking the union and undermining the next generation of workers,” says USW National Director Ken Neumann.

Crown employees in Toronto, who have been on strike for months, have won support from unions worldwide including the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), IndustriALL Global Union, Unite and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. U.S.-based Crown Holdings is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of food and beverage containers. To show your support for USW workers at Crown, go to


AT&T Wireless, the nation’s only unionized wireless telephone service provider, is running a promotion for union members who switch from T-Mobile. For a limited time, union members who switch from T-Mobile to AT&T can save up to $450. Union members can make the switch by going to an AT&T retail store or online by going to the AT&T Premier Site for Union Members at: To take advantage of this offer, you will need to use the following FAN number: 3508840. For more information on the Union Plus AT&T discount, visit


The Council of American Master Mariners (CAMM) New York Metro Chapter will meet at 1200 hours on Jan. 29 in the Special Events Room at SUNY Maritime College. The Special Events Room is adjacent to Messdeck. The cost of the buffet lunch to be served at the meeting is $11, payable at the door. Guests are welcome. If you plan to attend the meeting, please RSVP to: or 631-375 5830 or Capt. Sandberg, Box 581, Center Moriches, NY, 11934.


A three-way collision in the English Channel at 2:00 a.m. this morning has reportedly caused serious damage to all three of the vessels involved. The incident occurred when the RICKMERS DUBAI, a Liberian-registered cargo ship on the way to Genoa, Italy, passed between a tug and a barge it was towing. No one was harmed in the incident, which occurred nine miles off the coast at Dungeness in Kent. The U.K. Marine Accident Investigation Branch describes the accident as a “collision in the Dover Strait between a Liberian-registered general cargo ship and a crane barge, which was being towed by the U.K.-registered tug KINGSTON.”


If you are interested in attending the Offshore Familiarization Course, please contact your MM&P Vice President to request that one be scheduled in your area. An Offshore Orientation Course is now scheduled for Los Angeles/Long Beach on March 12-13 and Oct. 8-9. If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall: 310-834-7201 or 310-834-6667 (fax). There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are encouraged to take the course as soon as possible.


The 2006 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) entered into force on Aug. 20. It has been described as the fourth pillar of international shipping regulations along with SOLAS, MARPOL and STCW.  The International Labor Organization consolidated a number of previous conventions in MLC 2006. It establishes minimum standards on conditions of employment, accommodations, health and safety, medical care, crew welfare, recruitment, working conditions and social security protection. MLC will be strictly enforced during port state control inspections, including the potential for more detailed inspections and possible detention where hazardous conditions may exist if ships are not to be in compliance. Visit for more information or to register for the MLC course.


MITAGS needs your current address! Have you moved recently? Did you remember to send MITAGS your new address for communications regarding courses? Please send your current contact information to or to the fax number below.

New dedicated fax line for Admissions only: 1-443-568-1928. For all other MITAGS business, please continue to use: 410-859-5181.

For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: Why not try our on-line calendar to register for class:

Please note the special addition to our on-campus schedule of MSC classes marked with an asterisk (*), which are not normally scheduled to be held at MITAGS.

AB – 4/14/14

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/6/14

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/21/14, 4/1/14

AZIPOD 2-Day – 2/6/14, 5/7/14

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 1/27/14, 3/24/14, 6/2/14

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/4/14, 3/3/14

BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/20/14, 2/10/14, 4/7/14, 6/9/14

CHS-BAS – Cargo Handling Basic: 4/14/14

CONSTB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/27/14

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 2/24/14

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 2/3/14, 4/28/14, 6/23/14

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 3/10/14, 6/16/14

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 2/10/14, 5/5/14

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 1/27/14, 2/24/14, 5/5/14, 6/2/14

CMM-LDRSHP – Management, Communication, & Leadership (Management Level): 3/17/14

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants:  1/20/14, 3/31/14

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 4/7/14

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 2/17/14, 3/10/14, 4/7/14, 4/28/14, 6/9/14

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 2/24/14, 3/17/14, 4/14/14, 5/5/14, 6/16/14

CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/3/14, 6/9/14

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 1/27/14, 4/21/14

CNAV – Celestial Navigation: 4/28/14

CONSTB – 1/27/14

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop:

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/27/14


ECDIS-Pilots – 3/5/14

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit:

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/20/14, 2/10/14, 4/7/14, 6/9/14

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep & Medications:  2/3/14

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/24/14

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/17/14

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/23/14

LAP- 3/10/14

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes:  1/27/14

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross Ton License: 6/2/14

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/22/14, 3/5/14

LNG-TPIC – 4/7/14

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership

MCL OICNW –Management, Communications, and Leadership OICNW level: 9/5/14, 10/7/14

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response Workshop:  2/7/14

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 2/17/14, 4/21/14, 6/16/14

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/27/14, 5/12/14

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 2/17/14, 3/17/14, 4/21/14, 6/16/14

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/25/14, 2/22/14, 3/22/14, 4/26/14, 6/21/14

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 3/14/14

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 3/10/14

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification:  3/10/14



*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force –

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 2/3/14, 4/7/14

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/20/14, 3/31/14

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 1/22/14, 2/5/14, 2/19/14, 3/6/14, 3/20/14, 4/2/14, 4/16/14, 4/30/14, 5/7/14, 5/14/14, 6/5/14, 6/18/14

SAR – Search & Rescue

SEC-MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: 5/5/14 (PM)

SEC-VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 5/6/14

SEC-VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 2/4/14, 5/7/14

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling:  2/10/14, 6/16/14

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 1/20/14, 3/3/14

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/5/14, 4/29/14

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/7/14

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge:  2/24/14

TTT – Train the Trainer: 4/7/14

WKP-BAS – Basic Watchkeeping: 3/3/14

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 2/24/13

…And remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions.


Please also see our schedule online at For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.

January 2014

27-31     Radar Observer Unlimited
27-31     Medical Care Provider
27-7       Medical Person-In-Charge

February 2014

3rd         Radar Renewal
3rd         Flashing Light
3-7          Basic Watchkeeping (Rules of the Road)
4-7          ARPA
10-14     ECDIS
10-14     Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
10-21     GMDSS
17-21     ECDIS
17-21     Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
24-28     Medical Care Provider
26-28     Vessel Security Officer

March 2014

3-14       Celestial Navigation
10-21     GMDSS
17th       Radar Renewal
24-28     ECDIS
24-28     Able Seaman
24-4       License Preparation (Mate Level)

April 2014

7-11       ECDIS
14th       Radar Renewal
14-18     Medical Care Provider
14-25     Medical Person-In-Charge
15-18     ARPA
28-2       ECDIS

The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2014, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at